Merry Christmas (transitionally observed): Free agency begins

Quickly, the Islanders made their first two moves: Arthur Staple broke both Evgeni Nabokov’s return and Peter Regin’s arrival from Ottawa on one-year contracts.

Our lists are up, and we’ll update here throughout the day.

–The first real AHL note: Hershey signed onetime Sound Tigers centerman Jamie Johnson, returning from Europe.

–The NHL’s full list is here. There’s an Islanders name missing: Brett Gallant’s. That has sometimes meant a quiet re-signing, or it could just be an oversight. Have asked. Edit, 7/7: Haven’t gotten a direct answer on that, but a @CapGeek exchange on Twitter about Drew LeBlanc gave what I think is the right answer. Gallant is a “Group 2 player,” in that he doesn’t fulfill any of the requirements for the unrestricted groups. But to get actual free agency and the right to negotiate with other teams, according to Section 10.2 of the CBA, he’d have to play 10 games under an NHL contract. Gallant only played five before he got hurt. Like with restricted free agents, he was due a qualifying offer, but according to 10.2(c), that just gives the Islanders the sole NHL negotiation rights.

–Edit: Just another link to Jonathan Bombulie’s and Michael Cignoli’s AHL free agents “Big Board”.

–The Isles have a third: Pierre-Marc Bouchard, late of the Wild and a guy with almost 350 points in the NHL.

–Edmonton tweeted (@EdmontonOilers) that it has signed Jesse Joensuu to a two-year contract.

–Leaving Edmonton for Philadelphia: Yann Danis.

–Bob McKenzie says Keith Aucoin goes to St. Louis.

–A report has both Mike McKenna and Jeremy Smith to Columbus. Edit: Columbus makes Smith official, re-signing Falcons captain Ryan Craig along with Cody Bass. Edit2: And here’s the McKenna official.

–As Bridgeport’s roster currently stands (I’m tossing Lee in for these purposes and not promoting anybody yet), the three players with the most professional experience are all defensemen. They’re Aaron Ness (170, including playoffs), Dallas Jackson (169, 143 of those in the ECHL) and Matt Donovan (159). Brett Gallant (148) and Chris Bruton (138) are the only others with more than 100. Average experience is something like 57 pro games. The team as a whole has 20 games of NHL experience, nine of them Ness’. But that’s obviously after losing all the unrestricted free agents and such and before signing anyone.

–The Islanders keep signing, and a nice one. Travis Hamonic gets a seven-year deal at some darned good money.

–The Rangers add defensive depth with onetime (briefly) Sound Tiger Aaron Johnson.

–Springfield standout Nick Holden is among those signing with the Avalanche, along with Nate Guenin.

–Appears Matt Donovan has agreed to terms on a different kind of contract.

Trevor Smith from the Penguins to the Maple Leafs. Nick Drazenovic from Springfield to the Penguins.

–Good on Bobby Robins, who gets an NHL deal with Boston. The B’s also picked up Chad Johnson, erstwhile Hartford goalie.

Michael Fornabaio